Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Proverbs-Chapter 30

Prov 30.1-33 is a collection of sayings from a man known only as Agur, meaning “collector or gatherer” and the son of Jakeh (pious). When the men of Hezekiah collected additional proverbs they included these sayings of Agur. We know that Solomon was not the only person of wisdom because of 1 Kings 4.30-31, and some in the Jewish Midrashim think that Agur is Solomon, but that is conjecture.

v 1…The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the oracle (burden, prophetic word), the man declares to Ithiel (God is with me), to Ithiel and Ucal (mighty one).

v 2…Surely I am more stupid (lacking in sense) than any man, and I do not have the understanding of a man (Hebrew “Adam” who knew God, his nature and perfections; to grasp the nature of God).

v 3…Neither have I learned wisdom (in the schools of the prophets and sages-Amos 7.14), but I have the knowledge (da’at) of holiness (given to him from God not man).

v 4…Who has ascended (to get the knowledge) into the heavens and descended (with it-John 3.13)? Who has gathered the wind in his fists (not just any creature could-John 3.5-8)? Who has wrapped the waters in his garment (only God could do this-John 3.5)? Who has established all the ends of the earth (fixed the boundaries-John 16-17)? What is his name (Yehovah) or his son’s name (Yeshua-this passage contains the mystery of the Merkavah, or the throne of God, like in Ezek 1. The Torah answers all these questions)? Surely you know (it is Yehovah).

v 5…Every word of God is tested (examined and purified-Psa 18.30); he (notice the word of God is a he-1 Sam 3.21; John 1.1) is a shield (“magen”-it speaks of the protective quality of the Torah. It protects Israel to enjoy its inheritance; protects the individual people in the nation to enjoy the redemption; it protects the unsaved until the time God will reveal Messiah to them and they become born again).

v 6…Do not add to his words (or detract-Deut 4.2; Rev 22.18-19; 1 Cor 4.6) lest he remove you, and you are proved to be a liar (spreading false doctrine).

v 7…Two things I asked of thee, do not refuse me before I die (he wants the answer to this prayer before he dies).

v 8…Keep deception and lies far from me (he wanted to be a person who spoke truth), give me neither poverty nor riches (both are extremes); feed me with the food that is my portion (to be satisfied with what God has given him),

v 9…Lest I be full and deny thee and say, “Who is the Lord (he did not need God)?” or lest I be in want (poor) and steal, and profane the name of my God (by being accused of theft).

v 10…Do not slander (accuse wrongly) a servant to his master, lest he curse you (for the wrong) and you be found guilty (of accusing him without cause).

v 11…There is a generation (such people in the world) who curses his father, and does not bless his mother (a terrible sin).

v 12…There is a generation (such people in the world) who is pure in his own eyes, yet is not washed from his filthiness (by faith in Yehovah).

v 13…There is a generation (such people in the world)-oh how lofty are his eyes (full of pride) and his eyelids are raised in arrogance (and contempt).

v 14…There is a generation whose teeth are like swords (sharp and cutting), and his jaw teeth (canines) like knives to devour the afflicted from the earth and the needy from among men (their greed cannot be satisfied).

v 15…The leech has two daughters, crying, “Give, give” (never satisfied). There are three things that will not be satisfied, four that will not say, “enough”:

v 16…Sheol, and the barren-womb, earth that is never satisfied with water and fire that never says “Enough.”

v 17…The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother (despises to obey and both are God’s representatives on earth), the ravens of the valley will pick it out (their body will be food for the carrion), and the young eagles will eat it (idiom for a disaster and alludes to the Feast of Leviathan in eschatology).

v 18…There are three things which are too wonderful (deep, hidden) for me, four which I do not understand (comprehend).

v 19…The way of an eagle in the sky (its flight and power), the way of a serpent on a rock (getting up without legs and can move in a flash without a trace), the way of a ship in the middle of the sea (so small, and where there are no roads but uses the sea to find their destinations to travel on; weathering storms, etc), and the way of a man with a maid (to get her attention and affections).

v 20…This is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats (enjoys her sin and is satisfied) and wipes her mouth (in innocence) and says, “I have done no wrong” (considers herself safe and without blame. The adulterous woman alludes to the apostate from the Torah who think they are safe, too).

v 21…Under three things the earth quakes (is disquited, perturbed), and for four at cannot bear up.

v 22…Under a slave (servant) when he becomes king (and unfit to rule), and a fool when he is satisfied with food (like Nabal at his feast, overbearing and loud).

v 23…Under a hated one (in personality who should have never found a husband) when she is married (doesn’t hide it anymore to her family), and a maidservant when she is heir to her mistress (she will behave in a manner that makes the family uncomfortable, like Hagar did with Sarah-Gen 16.4).

v 24…Four things are small (in bulk) on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise (but overlooked):

v 25…The ants are not strong folk (they are small), but they prepare their food in summer (size does not determine wisdom);

v 26…The badgers (rock badgers in Israel) are not mighty folk (to stand up against larger predators), yet they make their houses in the rocks (showing they are shrewd enough to find a home among the strong);

v 27…The locust have no king (or leadership structure), yet all of them go out in ranks (in order, advancing and overcoming the vegetation);

v 28…The lizard (gecko) you may grasp with the hands, yet it is in the king’s palaces (uses its gifts and abilities to take them anywhere they want to go).

v 29…There are three things that are stately in their march (majestic as they move), even four which are stately when they walk (powerful):

v 30…The lion which is mighty among the beasts and does not retreat before any (has courage);

v 31…The strutting cock (literally “one girded in the loins”), the male goat also (who is at the head of the flock), and a king when his army is with him (whose power cannot be resisted).

v 32…If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth (and stop the designs of your heart before it is too late, stop talking about it).

v 33…For the churning of milk produces butter and pressing the nose brings forth blood; so the churning of anger produces strife (so avoid forcing and pressing things that will cause contention).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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